Wednesday, June 21, 2017

a visit from Yogi and a new bedskirt

I desperately needed a decent dust ruffle, and I found a used one on ebay. A Laura Ashley, supposedly one hundred percent cotton.

The tag clearly says half cotton and half poly. Anyway, I adjusted it for my daybed and it looks nice.

Dolly and I sat out again today for an hour. About halfway into it, a catbird started fussing up above us; I could see him clearly as he chucked at us, and just when he began his meowing, which sounded exactly like this,  (I guess it isn't really meowing, but does seem like a cat-ish noise.) I turned and there was Yogi right next to me. So the little catbird wasn't concerned about Dolly's presence, but he took a different view of Yogi.

He let me pet him! I offered him some of Dolly's food and water (he sniffed and then declined), and he stayed nearby for a little while. Oh, why didn't I think to bring the camera out? He is a beautiful cat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

living breezes and invisible worlds

After some very unJune-like weather, hot and excessively humid, today was much drier, sunny and breezy. But I thought the ground must be wet after last night's rainstorms, and maybe not so nice to sit out. Until I came into the house after tossing something in the trash, and Dolly ran out. I chased after her in my bare feet (she stopped near the fence under a tree, thank God!) and grabbed her. And it wasn't wet after all! So, out we went.

For two hours, on a quilt under a tree; and I thought of the words in the morning's hymn:

The glories of earth, sea and sky
Thy pow'r and wisdom magnify;
The roseate dawn, the living breeze,
The flow'r decked fields, the surging seas,
All sing in wordless song to thee,
To whom exist all things that be.

It was the words living breeze that got me for some reason. We both enjoyed that breeze today.

Of course, sitting under a tree you occasionally feel a crawly something on your neck or whatever, and these little yellow spiders kept appearing, along with tiny ants and even a daddy long legs who was suddenly in my basket! I chased him out.

Here's a bright red bug of some sort. There was so much busyness on this tiny level!

If you don't pay attention, you'd never realize what's going on out there. And I usually don't.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017


O Christ, the healer, we have come
to pray for health, to plead for friends.
How can we fail to be restored
when reached by love that never ends?

From every ailment flesh endures
our bodies clamor to be freed;
yet in our hearts we would confess
that wholeness is our deepest need.

How strong, O Lord, are our desires,
how weak our knowledge of ourselves!
Release in us those healing truths
unconscious pride resists or shelves.

-  from Magnificat, June 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

another weed

This wild rose - it took over the forsythia that used to be there and there are patches of it elsewhere in the yard, but I don't care - the sweet scent is everywhere these June days.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

a graduation

My favorite pillowcases, now serving as cleaning cloths for the bathroom.  Well, I don't want to call it a demotion!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

side garden

The garden on the side of the house near the back door, with a gray stone border.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


"We live the given life, not the planned."

                         - Wendell Berry

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

what is a weed?

I can't believe how well these wildflowers are holding up - I shouldn't say "holding up", because they look exactly as perky as when I picked them.

My brother referred to them as weeds when I was marveling. And even though I also use the term occasionally, I suddenly saw there is no such thing as a weed. A "weed" is just a plant you can't identify that's in a place you don't want it to be. That's a weed. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

soda bottle with buttercups

Lately I'm looking at empty food jars and bottles with a new eye

and am liking them as well as any vase.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

always dishes

It seems I always have dishes needing to be washed, and sometimes it's tiresome.

But then I remember that this is a working kitchen, not a "show" kitchen, so of course there will always be dishes. And I feel better.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day, anyway

The sunrise was so pretty that I thought the weatherman must be wrong, but he wasn't. It was another one of many gloomy and rainy days lately, and rather cool, too.

But inside we had company, and peanut butter cookies.

Monday, May 29, 2017

tomatoes from the old country

A friend stopped by and brought us three tomato plants: a Polish one like we had last year, and two Italian. From Italy - his grandfather's tomatoes, the seeds saved every year by his family! 

That's exciting.

Friday, May 26, 2017

hoping for hummingbirds

For a change, I bought a yellow hanging plant at the sale; it's lantana - something that's only an annual here. They said it should attract hummingbirds.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

neat and organized

This is how it looks when my brother does the garden.  I'm glad he's found time for it again.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

the second thing

"...the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more 'literary' you are. That's my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often...So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life...Well, there we have the first thing I said we need. Quality, texture of information."

"And the second?"


                                                -  Fahrenheit 451,  Ray Bradbury

Thursday, May 18, 2017

coy peas

Today it was plenty over ninety, but I reveled in it - we've had so much chilly, rainy gloominess; it felt great! I made this favorite pasta salad.

And if you make it with pipette, the peas try to hide in them.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

it isn't perfectionism

"It is not doing perfectly this or that particular work or exercising a particular profession perfectly that grafts us into union with the Church; it is being so driven by Christ, wherever we are, that this small action of ours in the world is truly his.

It is not because we can organize the world that we will be grafted in marriage to the Church, but it is in carrying within us each person in the world, each person that we meet; it is not in organizing their lives for them but in giving them the right to live in our life; in sharing with them everything that we are, all that is ours, from our bread to God's grace."

-   Madeleine Delbrel,  from  Magnificat, May 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Light Exists in Spring

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period -
When March is scarcely here.

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope, you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay -

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

-  Emily Dickinson

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"like a jewel from the bottom of the sea"

"The object of salvation is that which is unique, irreplaceable, incommunicable - that which is myself alone. This true inner self must be drawn up like a jewel from the bottom of the sea, rescued from confusion, from indistinction, from immersion in the common, the nondescript, the trivial, the sordid, the evanescent.

We must be saved from immersion in the sea of lies and passions which is called 'the world'. And we must be saved above all from that abyss of confusion and absurdity which is our own worldly self. The person must be rescued from the individual. The free son of God must be saved from the conformist slave of fantasy, passion, and convention. The creative and mysterious inner self must be delivered from the wasteful, hedonistic, and destructive ego that seeks only to cover itself with disguises.

To be 'lost' is to be left to the arbitrariness and pretenses of the contingent ego, the smoke-self that must inevitable vanish. To be 'saved' is to return to one's inviolate and eternal reality and to live in God."

                                        -  Thomas Merton, from Magnificat, May 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

clouds of white

I had to put up this photograph of a local crabapple tree. Fabulous.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

let us rise

Let us rise in early morning,
And, instead of ointments, bring
Hymns of praises to our Master,
And his Resurrection sing:
We shall see the Sun of Justice
Ris'n with healing on his wing.

Go ye forth, his saints, to meet him!
Go with lamps in every hand!
From the sepulcher he riseth:
Ready for the Bridegroom stand:
And the Pascha of salvation
Hail, with his triumphant band.

-  from Magnificat, May 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

When I bought this skillet last summer, I did wonder if I wasn't being greedy. After all, I had one very similar at home, one with the same heavy bottom and the same diameter on top.

This Calphalon is narrower at the base and a bit deeper, different enough for all kinds of cooking. and cleans up like a dream. I'm not feeling greedy anymore - I'm glad I bought it!

Monday, May 1, 2017

more from Mother Goose

There's been a chickadee flapping against our front windows yesterday and again today. I heard a tapping in the spare room and saw him trying to get in. It was so cloudy, it can't be that he was seeing his reflection; still, I headed over to pull down the shade but Dolly was there before me, leaping onto the sill and trying to get him through the glass. I think that scared him off.

Once I saw a little bird
Come hop, hop, hop;
So I cried, "Little bird,
Will you stop, stop, stop?"

And was going to the window
To say, "How do you do?"
But he shook his little tail,
And far away he flew.

-  from Mother Goose

Saturday, April 29, 2017

the valiant cherry tree

Our dear little cherry tree is blooming hard.

There's a dead branch which needs to be removed, but the rest of it is adapting as best it can to its injured state

and doing a darn good job of it.

It's like a fairy thing.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


The library throw is all done, except for an identifying patch of some kind we want to attach. It's really hard to get an accurate photo of it; it's brighter than this.

After looking at several types of borders I decided to make a scallop, and this pretty iris yarn - with sparkles! - was perfect.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Rain on the green grass,
  and rain on the tree,

Rain on the house-top,
  but not on me.

from Mother Goose.

Monday, April 24, 2017

a buttonhole

I tried again with parchment paper underneath the fabric, but it still stuck in the machine, so today I made a buttonhole by hand. It wasn't so bad; the fuzzy fabric covers up my stitching, so I guess it's okay.

But this is why I wanted real buttonholes with these great buttons.  I only need to make two more, but not today.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

hymn for Easter Week

Glory to God! The morn appointed breaks,
and earth awakes from all the woeful past;
For, with the morn, the Lord of life awakes,
and sin and death into the grave are cast.

Glory to God! The cross, with all its shame
now sheds its glory o'er a ransomed world;
For he who bore the burden of our blame,
with pierced hands the foe to hell has hurled.

Glory to God! Sing ransomed souls again,
and let your songs our glorious Victor laud,
who by his might has snapped the tyrant's chain,
and set us free to rise with him to God.

-   from Magnificat, April 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

a new life for my old robe

I am very happy to say that my robe is almost completed - I need to hem the sleeves and I can wear it tonight.

The buttons - which I really love - aren't on because the fuzzy chenille was sticking in the sewing machine and messing up the buttonholes - I wasn't able to make them. I think I'll have to do them by hand, which I dread. I once tried sewing buttonholes by hand and they came out looking awful, but I don't know what else to do. (please don't suggest bound buttonholes!)

You can see the yellow has a wavy stripe while the original is kind of a narrow line, but it doesn't seem to matter - I think it looks fine. I am relieved.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sweetie remembers

living outside.

But she really doesn't pine for the rough life, and she's adjusted to being a house cat when I never thought she could. She is content.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

a peaceful Easter

My Easter was so quiet - my brother was sick, so no company and almost no cooking; I heated up the lamb chops I had cooked ahead the day before!

Dolly and I sat outside for an hour in the 85 degree afternoon with a wonderful breeze blowing.

Very peaceful. He's feeling better now.

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

- from Psalm 33

Saturday, April 15, 2017


What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down
Beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb I will sing; 
To God and to the Lamb, 
Who is the great I AM, 
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free 
I’ll sing His love for me,
And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
And through eternity I’ll sing on.

-  William Walker

Friday, April 14, 2017

who would have thought any more of His destiny?

See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at him - so marred was his look beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man - so shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by people, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom people hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all.

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth. Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought any more of his destiny? When he was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sin of his people, a grave was assigned him among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers, though he had done no wrong nor spoken any falsehood. But the Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear. Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty, because he surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked; and he shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses. 

-  Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12

Thursday, April 13, 2017

the Last Supper

'Twas on that dark and doleful night,
When pow'rs of earth and hell arose
Against the Son of God's delight
And friends betrayed him to his foes.

Before the mournful scene began,
He took the bread and blessed and broke;
What love through all his actions ran,
What wondrous words of love he spoke.

"This is my Body, giv'n for you,
Receive and eat the living Food."
Then took the cup and blessed the wine;
"'Tis the new cov'nant in my Blood."

"Do this", he cried, "till time shall end
In mem'ry of the Son of Man;
Meet at my table and record
The love and dying of your Lord."

Jesus, your feast we celebrate,
We show your death, we sing your name,
Till you return and we shall eat
The marriage supper of the Lamb.

- Magnificat, Holy Week 2017

(Jesus Washing Peter's Feet, by Ford Madox Brown)

"There is only one temptation. All particular temptations are expressions of this one original or 'primordial' temptation. This is the temptation to believe that the fulfillment of the desires of the human heart depends entirely on us. Dependence on another leaves us at the mercy of what we cannot control. Therefore, we are tempted to reject all forms of dependence. The most radical form of dependence is love. Therefore, the original temptation is to deny that our existence is a pure and perfect gift of an infinite Love that deserves to be loved in return. The fullest revelation that God is love is the Incarnation of Christ. Therefore, the primordial temptation is to reject the Incarnation and its consequences."

                                                     -  Lorenzo Albacete

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

probably Palestrina

They're hearing confessions three evenings this week and we were there last night. On my side we were lined up along the wall, and we kept hearing music - it was Renaissance music - faintly. We realized it came from the speaker nearby. What a brilliant idea! I said to the young man (teenage) in front of me, "nice music!" and he smiled and agreed. It provided the perfect background for Holy Week, and atmosphere for what we were doing there.

Miss Sweetikins had a birthday Sunday.She is twelve but no one could ever tell; she plays like a wild thing.  She and Dolly do not get along, and there's a lot I could say about that but I feel weary at the thought of it. Suffice it to say that Dolly is starting to be tired of staying in seclusion day after day and is coming forth way more than she has in ages.  Thank God!

from Magnificat:

"We have grown accustomed to making a clear distinction between Peter the rock and Peter the denier of Christ - the denier of Christ: that is Peter as he was before Easter; the rock: that is Peter as he was after Pentecost, the Peter of whom we have constructed a singularly idealistic image. But,  in reality, he was at both times both of these..."

                                                 -  Pope Benedict XVI

Like the rest of us.

Monday, April 10, 2017

that welcome yellow

The forsythia is starting. And the grass is brilliant green. And today it was 80!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

the meek king cometh

Holy Week begins today - I always want matzoh.

Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, Meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.

-   Zechariah 9:9

Monday, April 3, 2017

cut it in two

I'd bought a quilt from Garnet Hill to throw on the back of a couch. It was a great sale - a twin size, all cotton. Because of that, it was very heavy; I couldn't imagine ever using it on a bed. Cotton batting may be better environmentally, but it weighs so much. I also knew it wouldn't fit in the washer. A dilemma.

It suddenly came to me; cut the quilt in half! So I did that, and each piece is on the back of one of the couches (they are more like love-seats, really). I have to think about what I'll use to bind the raw edges, but for now they aren't visible and I have two washable pieces.  It's manageable!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

history repeating itself

"The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright:

  Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the Lord. To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us. Because his life is not like that of others, and different are his ways. He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father."

                                                           -   Wisdom: 2:1a, 12-16

"That is the key to history...Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and the cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin."

                                                          -  C.S. Lewis 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

winter not over yet

We had some sun today. I wanted to prune the roses, but we are expecting a "wintry mix" tomorrow - I'll wait.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

repairing my old robe

My beloved robe is wearing very thin in places, near the shoulders especially. 

Yesterday I laid it out on the floor to draw a pattern piece for the top part; the "skirt" is fine. It's a soft, dusty turquoise color which I couldn't match, so I bought some yellow - it will have to be two-tone. It's nerve-wracking to have to do this. I hope it comes out well!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

thankful to finish this project

I finished a third Dottie Angel frock - I had bought fabric for three of them last fall. I'm terrible at sewing bias binding around edges  -  can't seem to get it nice. So I made squares of grosgrain ribbon and stitched them in either corner of each pocket!

Very neat. But I can't wear it for a while.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

an instant breakfast

For some time, I've been making overnight oats for my breakfasts on work days. There are many recipes online, but mine is always the same. Into a pint mason jar I put:

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • a pinch of pumpkin pie spice, or maybe cocoa powder
  • some raisins, dried cherries or whatever
  • a couple of blobs of natural peanut butter
  • almond milk
I like mine liquidy, so use plenty of the almond milk.  Stir up with a butter knife, add more milk, screw on the lid and shake. Make the night before you want it.

Three times a week, and I haven't tired of it yet.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

in good pastures

"I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the foreign lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel [in the land's ravines and all its inhabited places]. 

In good pastures will I pasture them, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing ground. There they shall lie down on good grazing ground, and in rich pastures shall they be pastured on the mountains of Israel."

                                                                        -        Ezekiel 34:11-14

Friday, March 17, 2017